Ender’s Game Movie Review

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enders_game_2013_movie-wideBefore you go into this movie thinking Ender’s game is gong to be a swashbuckling adventure, sci-fi yarn in the vein of  Star Wars or Star Trek, please pause and understand that this movie is not that at all. Ender’s Game is a character piece about the struggles of a boy genius who is attempting to shoulder the burden of mankind by training to become the best commander that humanity has ever birthed. On top of the mental stress of trying to fulfill the expectations of humanity, he also experiences bullying that many young people face when they stand out due to physical or mental features that are different from the norm.  Oh and by the way, while he is experiencing all of this, he is preparing to fight a war against the alien Formix, which had invaded Earth 50 years before and almost decimated the planet.

Ender’s Game takes us through Ender’s journey from Battle School to Command School where he uses his superior intellect to engage in warfare games that the military uses to prepare its children for war.  I read a short story of Ender’s Game back in high school, and I remember thinking it was cool that they used war games to prepare their children for war. I was a part of the Atari, Nintendo generation, so war games existed, but not with the complexity and realism they are now.  Orson Scott Card the author of Ender’s Game truly saw the future when he wrote this book because our youth in America are all training for war, tactics and military strategy daily, which is similar to the book and movie.   My son Kameron’s favorite video games involve military strategy and realistic combat.  I could very easily see him playing a role in Ender’s Game.

Based on the trailers for the movie, many people will believe this film will be wall to wall space battles.  However, the space battles are brief and merely serve as a backdrop to a good movie that shows the development Ender takes on his journey to become humanity’s answer to the alien threat.  The movie is in no way boring, but I don’t want people going in with different expectations.  The few knocks I have about the film are that they showed a lot of the cool space battles in the commercial trailers, and I thought the movie was rushed. I would have loved to have spent more time getting to follow Ender and his exploits at the Battle School with his Dragon Army.  The ending of the film stayed true to what I remembered from the short story, which made it pretty cool.  Of course the movie is open to sequels because there are a number of books in the Ender’s game series.

After watching this film, I am eager to get the books and read the full story of Ender’s Adventures.   Hopefully the movie will make enough money to get a sequel or two.

Grade: B+


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